I first had Cuban-style black bean soup while visiting Key West, Florida. It was on just about every menu there and it was love at first bite! There is something very satisfying about the earthy flavors that mingle so well in this delicious Latin medley.
Over the years, I have met several people who told me they could not eat beans because they had trouble digesting them. I recently found out a thing or two from Dr. Fuhrman about beans and how they are digested (or not digested) that I would like to share with you...
Beans are rich in fiber and resistant starch and are not broken down by enzymes in the small intestine. This resistant starch is fermented by bacteria in the colon, forming products that protect against colon cancer. In fact, a six year study tracking over 32,000 individuals found that those who ate beans, peas, or lentils only twice a week decreased their risk of colon cancer by 50%. If they cut their chance of colon cancer in half by eating beans twice a week, imagine the benefit of eating beans daily! Why isn't this on the front page of every newspaper??
Beans also act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food because they are digested slowly, which stabilizes blood sugar, reducing hunger and caloric drive, and helps to prevent food cravings. They are, by far, the best source of carbohydrates in any diet plan. If you have difficulty digesting them, try adding a few tablespoons to your diet daily and your body will most likely adapt, allowing you to eat more and more. Also, start with lentils rather than pinto or black beans. Lentils are easier to digest.
Before we get to today's recipe, please take a moment to watch this short clip for more interesting health facts about beans from Dr. Fuhrman:
This is a quick recipe version. You can, of course, cook your own beans, which I often do and freeze them for later use. But for this recipe, I'm using canned beans.
- 2 cans black beans (unrinsed)
- 2 cups water
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red onion, diced (leave some aside for garnish if preferred)
- 3 TBS tamari or Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or salt to taste)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (see notes)
- 1 TBS chili powder
- 1 TBS cumin
- 1/2 TBS date sugar
- Add all ingredients to a pot.
- Simmer on low until veggies are tender.
- Transfer 1/2 of soup to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add blended soup back to pot and stir to combine.
- Serve topped with some chopped red onion, fresh cilantro and vegan sour cream
Helyn's Notes: Don't omit the cider vinegar. While it may seem like a trivial ingredient and a rather small amount at that, this is one of the ingredients that gives the dish its authentic taste!
Serves 2 hungry folk as a main dish or 4 as a side dish or appetizer.